The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) is a 40-year industry association dedicated to improving communication between fleet managers, lessors, used-vehicle marketers, and allied automotive service providers.

As a reflection of its mission statement, AFLA is a co-sponsor, along with Wheels Inc., of the annual Automotive Fleet Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award.

“AFLA is honored to be part of this award, which recognizes the achievements of commercial fleet managers,” said Elsie Lucia, AFLA president. Lucia is also director of fleet services for The Estee Lauder Companies in New York City.

Lucia believes the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award embodies many of the ideals codified in AFLA’s mission statement and its purpose as an industry association.

“A good example is that all of the winners of the Fleet Manager of the Year Award work with their suppliers and other partners to optimize the performance of their fleets. They bring suppliers together as a team to facilitate communication with each other to provide efficient, low-cost service to the fleet,” said Lucia. “This is what AFLA is all about. Improving communication between fleet managers and service providers is a core value of AFLA.”


Fleet’s Greatest Asset: The In-House Fleet Manager

AFLA also co-sponsors the Fleet Manager of the Year Award to help promote the value of a dedicated in-house fleet manager.

“A professional fleet manager validates his or her importance day-in and day-out by cost-effectively managing hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of corporate assets and controlling the expenses associated with operating these assets,” said Lucia. “These fleet managers implement programs that contribute to the achievement of overall company goals. This is exemplified by each year’s winner of the Fleet Manager of the Year Award.”

As part of its co-sponsorship, AFLA provides to Fleet Manager of the Year Award winners a $5,000 scholarship to bestow upon the business school of their choice. Lucia says this scholarship reflects AFLA’s belief that the fleet management profession is becoming more strategic in the management of corporate assets.

“Being a fleet manager today requires rising above the level of simply managing day-to-day administrative tasks. Today, there is a strategic aspect of fleet management,” said Lucia. “Vehicle acquisition, replacement planning, funding alternatives, corporate green initiatives, safety programs, and sourcing alliances with manufacturers and fleet suppliers are strategic corporate decisions. AFLA believes this evolving strategic aspect of fleet management is best illustrated by the winners and nominees of the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award."